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A global provider of staffing, placement and recruiting services, Randstad Holding, uses Tagetik enterprise performance management software for financial consolidation, calculating currency exchange rates, managing business processes and filing an assortment of financial reports.
Randstad, based in Dieman in the Netherlands, went live with Tagetik enterprise performance management software in May of 2013 after a nine-month implementation. The Tagetik cloud software runs on top of an Oracle database.
Paul Bakker, manager of reporting and systems for Randstad, said Tagetik enterprise performance management software works well for 450 users in offices in 43 countries. All the users report their quarterly and other numbers to the corporate headquarters. Using Tagetik’s extract, transform and load function, Randstad converts numbers from various general ledger systems and loads them into the Tagetik enterprise performance management software, Bakker said.
“For us, it’s worked out well,” he said. “We’ve been able to do everything we intended to do with the system.”
Oracle Hyperion data proves problematic
Tagetik enterprise performance management software replaced Oracle Hyperion Enterprise, which Randstad used between 1999 and 2013. With Hyperion, Randstad dealt with all kinds of data corruption problems, and the system ran slower and slower because of a lack of development, he said. Oracle also declared Hyperion Enterprise “end of life” in April 2013.
Bakker said Randstad chose Tagetik over Oracle's newer Hyperion Financial Management and SAP OutlookSoft.
He said he is especially pleased with Tagetik’s reporting capabilities for consolidating financial data from the company’s vast array of departments and business entities. “Reporting consolidation is their passion," Bakker said of Tagetik. “They are constantly developing the software.”
A weekly calendar in the enterprise performance management software is also key for tracking workers. “We are in the temporary working business. We trace the number of placements that we make in the group, the number of employees working worldwide.”
Forecasts and currency exchanges are strong suits
The company uses Tagetik for reporting of full financial statements, including the income statement, the balance sheet and cash flow, as well as extensive tax accounting, financial guarantees and some key performance indicators.
Bakker said Tagetik has improved forecasting partly by giving Randstad the capability to conduct a rolling forecast for 12 months. It is also valuable for updating forecasts periodically. Previously, if the company inserted a one-time cost or sale, for example, it would need to add that item to all the future periods. “Now, we enter in one period and Tagetik calculates year to date and copies forward to all future periods,” he said.
Tagetik is also helpful in accounting for the effects of complex currency exchanges. “One of our specific requirements was to have growth calculations inside the application instead of outside in a big spreadsheet,” he said. “For that, you have to eliminate the effect of exchange rates. Tagetik is one of the systems that can really do that.”
Another “very powerful feature” in Tagetik budgeting and planning is a function called “break back,” which allows a user to analyze for certain scenarios. For example, if a scenario calls for revenue to go up 10%, a user can run the forecast up to a key point in time and then operate a function that distributes that increase to all the underlying entities included in the analysis.
Legal reporting is also done in Tagetik, including calculating ownership and controlling interests. “We are seeing that more and more information is being put into the Tagetik system,” Bakker said.
Reporting drawbacks to note
Bakker said Tagetik is working on ways to speed up the reporting process. A drawback of the Tagetik enterprise performance management software is that it takes more time to run a report than with Hyperion Enterprise, he said.
Unlike Hyperion, Tagetik basically does not store calculated data. It only stores basic data and then does all the calculations when running a report, he said.
“It depends on what kind of report you run,” he said. “For the group -- we’re talking 450 entities -- it takes one and a half minutes to get the group financial statements. That includes your 12-month income statement, balance sheet, cash allowance and inter-company statements.”
Considering the number of accounts and entities being queried, 90 seconds may not seem like much time. “But for the user, Hyperion stored all calculated data so it would be on the screen immediately,” he said.
On the other hand, the big advantage of storing only basic data is the flexibility when it comes to making changes in metadata. For example, if you want to change roll-up of your entity hierarchy, it will immediately be visible when you run a report, Bakker said. It is not necessary to reconsolidate or recalculate the entire history for the roll-up, which is the case for systems that store calculated data.
A rundown of Tagetik's services and costs
Randstad uses Tagetik under a software as a service (SaaS) agreement. The company is a single tenant in the cloud, meaning it pays more to be the only company using a particular server and other infrastructure.
Randstad pays Tagetik $290,000 a year to cover the costs of an Amazon server farm in Dublin, with hosting service by the Tagetik SaaS team included in that amount, he said. The company paid Tagetik a one-time license fee of $500,000. It also pays a $100,000 annual service fee for the software, including upgrades, and a consultant an estimated $10,000 to $15,000 a year.
However, with those payments comes a strong dose of Tagetik’s service, Bakker said. “It took us nine months to implement, from the basic setting up the data model to going live. We had a very small window of going live with the new system. It was on time and on schedule.”
If a bug is found in a new release of the software or if the company wants a new function, Bakker creates a service ticket -- maybe two tickets a week. “We get reaction quite quickly,” he said. “I am satisfied with that.
“We have upgraded multiple times to new versions in order to have new functionality we wanted in the software. They are willing to listen to the clients in building functionality that is useful."